Connect with us

Interviews

9

The Lauralee Bell Interview – The Young and the Restless

Photo Credit: CharlesBush.com

Photo Credit: CharlesBush.com

If you are watching The Young and the Restless this week, the past is truly being revisited, which will have far reaching consequences for many of the citizens of Genoa City!  To kick things off, Christine (or known best to those from her past as Cricket) has just returned to Genoa City with a job to do, and Danny Romalotti has returned to check in on his son Daniel, after all the young man’s trouble with Daisy!  So enter soap favorites Lauralee Bell (Christine) and Michael Damian (Danny), who after a long stretch of time not being on Y&R together, finally have their reunion!  And it’s quite a spectacular one!  The old on-screen lovers end up hitting the sheets in short order!  But then comes the fallout!  Where do these two go from here?

But that is only half of the story!  As Lauralee talks and previews with On-Air On-Soaps, there is much more to her exciting return and the upcoming components of this story, where an unsolved crime puts her smack dab in the middle of all the controversy.  Cricket was run down by a vengeful Phyllis back in the day, and Phyllis never paid for the crime!  She got away with it!  Now with evil Ricky, the bad seed spawn of Paul and Isabella wanting to teach Phyllis a lesson, old wounds and old rivalries will be reopened, which gives the actors in this story some meaty material to sink their teeth into.

So, how does Lauralee feel Y&R is doing, while the series is receiving such backlash from fans unhappy with many of the current stories?  What was it like trying to capture the magic decades later with Michael Damian on-screen?  And, will this story be the one to finally make Lauralee want to stay on Y&R more long-term?  The answers to these and more burning questions can be found below in our conversation with the always “tell-it-like-it-is” Bell!

MICHAEL:

Finally, soap fans get to have both you and Michael Damian on Y&R at the same time and in scenes together … and in bed together!

LAURALEE:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

On last Friday’s air show, I would say it was how a classic Bill Bell moment would be where we built it up to where Danny and Christine just see each other!  Then came the three day Memorial Day weekend!   For me, as a viewer, I really get into stuff like that.  It was almost painful to have them just stare at each other, and so Tuesday’s episode was intense, and then Friday’s episode is wicked.  Every day is intense, but where Michael Damian and I had big scenes was on Tuesday and then Friday.  Those are the big days.  My time is not quick this time around at Y&R.  I am there.

MICHAEL:

What really brings Christine back to Genoa City this time?  All of a sudden there she was!  Did it make sense to you why was she was there?  Many times you have chosen not to return for a guest-arc to Y&R if it didn’t feel right to you.

LAURALEE:

Well, it did make sense for her to come back.  Genevieve is in such hot water, and it has become a much bigger issue than the Genoa City cops can handle.  It is now a federal investigation.  So it did make sense that Christine was there, and it did make sense for Danny to be there with all the stuff going on with his son, Daniel.  That is what I was so excited about, because it wasn’t really forced.  I did like that we were both in Genoa City, but did not see each other the first few days we were back.  A lot of things occur in these few weeks!

MICHAEL:

The cool thing about how Christine and Daniel were brought back onto the canvas was they were there for completely different reasons, which I thought was a good way to write it.

LAURALEE:

I liked that, too.  So we are having scenes and then all of a sudden on Tuesday’s episode Danny and Christine end up in bed, and that is a shocker!  That is showing again the growth and the history of the couple, but the growth of them as adults knowing they can just do some things on the spur of the moment, where it’s like, “I have a couple days with you and I am going to make the most of it.  And after that, we will deal with it.”  The history of their relationship justifies basically anything at this point.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

After they have sex, some territory is covered about their relationship and if they could ever be back together.

LAURALEE:

At the end of it all, there is a question of, “Do these two want to get back together?”  It really comes down to logistically how would they make that work?  He loves being a rock star and she loves working for the Justice Department … and who is going to give that up?  It sounds great and could be fun for a couple of weeks, but the reality is; who is going to drop everything?  Which one of us is going to drop everything and go to the other and really be happy?  I think they both love their careers so much that the sacrifice would cause them to hate being with the person that they wanted to be with, because they changed their life.

MICHAEL:

Then they come down the stairs from the GCAC from their romp and who should be there but their exes, Phyllis and Paul!

LAURALEE:

I think there is a little bit of  “Sorry, we don’t want to hurt you.”  But you know what?  None of us are technically together.  Paul is going through a lot, so he doesn’t need that in his face, but it is touched on so briefly, which I think it’s great.  We are all adults and Paul has been with Nina, so there are no dibs on anyone.  But it is always nice to throw something back in Phyllis’s face!  Lord knows, she deserves everything she gets.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

Your return is part of this overall story arc of the show reopening the cold case of when Cricket was mowed down in a hit and run, thanks to Phyllis, who has never paid for her crime.

LAURALEE:

There are some scenes coming up with Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) which I will need to ask the production manager to get me a copy of the old scenes, so I know what I am talking about.  I don’t mean the actual hit and run, but there are scenes around that time that I start snipping with Phyllis over.  The lines are great, but I would like to have that vision of what I am talking about. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Phyllis hated Cricket!

LAURALEE:

Yes she hated Cricket.  It’s interesting.  I didn’t remember that Paul and I were about to get married, but she apparently saw Danny and I saying goodbye to each other and it made her very upset.  Cricket was on to Phyllis’ shenanigans.  For some reason, I feel like Paul and Cricket had people that were angry with them because of their work.  So it was always just assumed that it had to be someone from his P.I. work, or Cricket’s legal work, that had a vendetta against us.  I don’t think Phyllis was ever really considered.

MICHAEL:

So this cold case involving Cricket’s hit and run is really the spark for Ricky’s revenge plot against Phyllis, and there seems to be lots of twists coming up with many long time favorites involved in it.   How has taping gone have so far, in particular the scenes with Michael Damian?

LAURALEE:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

When Michael Damian and I were sitting there running lines, it was interesting to see the crew there and their reactions to us, and when Michael and I taped our goodbye scenes.  It was so intense and people came out and said, “Oh my God.  That was very emotional.”  It’s Cricket and Danny, and that is one of the reasons I did not come back a couple of years ago when Michael was back.  Because if you don’t do it right, it could go wrong.  I have to say this was done so well, in terms of the reasons why they are there … the surprise of seeing each other, the intense quickness with them recognizing even though they have not seen each other, the connection is there.  They have such a strong connection, and then it’s goodbye.  That is why I have been eager for people to tune-in.  If you don’t watch Y&R that much anymore, but you were a fan back then, you have got to watch these episodes.  Watching the last few days of episodes with Jack and Victor and Nikki, these seem to be really strong shows.  And what is great now too, is that there is a lot of suspense.  You have Ricky getting creepy on everyone.  I kind of like those feelings where you are nervous.  I think there are multiple emotions going through the viewer’s mind when they are watching these days.

MICHAEL:

But Danny comes to town, and then is gone pretty quickly.  What’s up with that? How much of Danny/Cricket can we expect to see?

LAURALEE:

I think we are on for five days together.  Danny is on tour ‘baby’ and he has to get back on the road!  We were laughing in rehearsal when Danny tells Cricket he has to go.  It’s like, “Hello?  Maybe you should have told me this four hours ago, before we hopped in the sack.”  What is so great with Cricket at this age and point in her life, as we saw with Nick, I think she is very much in control of this, as you saw on Tuesday.  She is not the weak “Oh, I am not so sure if this is the right thing to do.”  There is none of that in her anymore.  There is the kindness in her, but no longer the naïve or scared side to her.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

So, Danny calls you Cricket, and not Christine!

LAURALEE:

I know, and he had to!  What was great about it was how it was addressed.  Michael, Michelle Stafford and I have this great scene where he is defending Cricket.  Phyllis says, “You know what? You have to move on, because she has.  Her name is not even Cricket anymore.  She is working woman.  So you have to get on with it and not live in the past!”  I am all for calling out what the audience was thinking and she nailed him with, “What era are you living in?”  To Nina and Danny, she will always be Cricket!

MICHAEL:

Should we expect some key showdown scenes between you and Michelle Stafford (Phyllis?)

LAURALEE:

I work with her a bit more coming up.  She came up to me my first day back and she was like, “I love what your character brings to the character of Phyllis. I immediately feel like the old Phyllis.“  I think people love seeing her like that.  I think by making her pregnant and having her do all these weird things because her hormones are out of whack, that is the Phyllis people want to see.  They don’t want to see her motherly and sweet, or if they do, they want to then see her flip out the next day so you can see she is not entirely stable.   What is great about their dynamic is… you can grow up, but it’s that deep- seated jealousy that is always there, even if you are sugar coating it.

MICHAEL:

Jeff Branson (Ronan) is coming back to Y&R, too!  Will you be working with him? Do you think Ronan and Christine could have a thing for each other?

LAURALEE:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

I did not know that at first, but I got my scripts for this week and we are working together.  Jeff is a really good actor, and I like Christine and Ronan.  There is an element of “Have those two gotten together?”  We both try to play it like that, because again, you don’t know what we do on our off hours.  I think that is what is so fun about playing my character now. You can sort of manipulate the story a bit, because I am off the canvas a lot and the audience has no idea what I do with my nights … whether Christine is drinking scotch alone, or at a strip club?  (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

If you and Jeff Branson could both stay on the show long enough, (laughs) what about a Phyllis/Ronan/Christine triangle?  Phyllis was having sex with Ronan!  And Phyllis is pregnant with what we believe is Nick’s child… but what if it is Ronan’s?

LAURALEE:

I know!  How crazy was it that those two hooked-up?  And again, having all of us back now make senses, and it is all very justified.  Now with Michael Baldwin becoming the D.A. and then Heather Stevens coming back into his life.  I met Jennifer Landon (Heather, Y&R) and she is great!  What I can tell you is Jennifer is very real, there is nothing in her acting that will come across forced or fake.

MICHAEL:

Y&R has taken a hit by its fans in recent months with consistent criticism that the stories are not to their liking, and it doesn’t feel like the show they remembered wanting to tune-in to every day.   They have been very disgruntled, to say the least.

LAURALEE:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

My big request to people is this: I know the story is there and I understand people are frustrated, but I am just saying, if you are going to give it a week and you are asking for classic Y&R, then you have to watch this week!  This is the beginning of a lot of good story.  I am all for watching shows that I don’t like and saying, “Why are they doing this? Why are doing that?”  I think what we can all agree on is it’s a lot people you know so well.  And I love watching a scene where you could have no dialog, and you put five Y&R characters that you have grown up with, you just know what they are all thinking about because you know them so well.  Everyone has their dynamics with everybody, and this is the time to watch.  If we don’t do in story what the fans are hoping for, it will break my heart, but I really feel like they are strong shows.

MICHAEL:

So has this return whet your appetite for possibly making it the real deal and coming back to the series on a more permanent basis?

LAURALEE:

Judging by what I will be taping next month, it looks like I will be around for a while.  There is a pretty steady amount of Christine.  But you know me!   I always like to wait to see how it is received before I make any other commitments.  I really have a bunch of shows that I am pitching full force right now, so I am in that mode to get them out.  I don’t want to commit to anything, but fingers-crossed, I can move forward with one of these.  And by the way, they are not my web projects.  So I believe things happen the way they are supposed to.  I will be on a ton on Y&R in June and July.  Then I will be taking a trip with my kids, and then we will see in August if this was all successful.

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

MICHAEL:

How was it for you, personally, working with Michael Damian again?

LAURALEE:

He is great!  It was odd, I have to say, because we haven’t seen each other in years. Rebecca Street called me and said, “I’m in town”  So we arranged to have lunch together and 40 minutes into the lunch she said to me, “Do you ever talk to Michael Damian?” And literally within 30 seconds he tapped me on the shoulder!  He happened to be in the same restaurant!  So that was so weird.  And this was not intentional!  And after that, I had not seen him in 2 years.  You can’t spend the kind of time Michael and I spent together, without having a really tight relationship.  It was great seeing him at Y&R.  But I did tease him that he was telling the same jokes he did back then.  Some things never change.  (Laughs)  But it was nothing but great, and I think it showed on camera.

MICHAEL:

Who do you think is Christine’s true love?

LAURALEE:

That is a tough one!  It’s hard to pick between your first and then your adult relationship. I think she only has two true loves, Danny and Paul.  I think there is always something about your first love, because it was the first time you ever experienced those feelings that are that intense.  On the goodbye scene, you will see how intense Danny and Cricket’s relationship is.  They weren’t planning on this.  It dredges up feelings.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Speaking of dredging up the past, the Danny/Cricket romance was 80’s Y&R, and you wearing the typical look of the times, and sporting the big hair!  Can you look at those episodes and pinch yourself at all the cool things you did in story, or are you mortified when you see yourself in those days?

LAURALEE:

I am mortified, and that is why I never read the message boards.  I would be the first one to say that I looked ridiculous, but that is what it was back then.  I wouldn’t be defending how silly we looked, but it was a sign of the times and it is funny that I now can say, “We look better now than we did 20 years ago!” (Laughs)  You have got to laugh at yourself.  I am always trying to find the humor in everything and people take life to seriously, and if you do, you will just stay locked up and cry all day.

MICHAEL:

Where is Christine at with Paul?  The two of them to me look like there is still such love there between them.

LAURALEE:

I don’t think that is done.  Doug Davidson (Paul) and I purposely play that they still do love each other where we can.  With Paul and Christine, when they need support, or help or a friend, they always go to each other.  It’s hard to do that without crossing the lines for Paul and Chris. 

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: CharlesBush.com

So what do you hope unravels as the story kicks into high gear and Phyllis’ crime could be exposed?  Do you hope that it will put Christine in grave danger from Phyllis or Ricky?  Or, do you hope she will be able to finish the job she originally set out to do when she returned to GC?

LAURALEE:

It’s too soon for me to say.  I would like to play both, knowing that there is huge danger and fear looming for her, and also knowing she has a job to get done.  Christine comes to help Paul do a whole background check on Ricky and finding out his past, but she really comes back because she knows Paul is not doing well and that he needs some guidance. (Laughs)   I am just a flight away from Genoa City via Washington D.C.! (Laughs)

 

 

 

Leave a comment | 9 Comments
Advertisement

9
Leave a Reply

avatar
6 Comment threads
3 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
7 Comment authors
SusanAlyssaStacyjackietash36 Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Michael
Michael

Michael, you had to know that Lauralee wasn’t about to badmouth her sister-in-law, Maria Arena Bell. I don’t even know why you asked her about the extremely negative publicity that the show has been getting thanks in large part to MAB’s horrific writing of the show. For her and for the sake of “family harmony”, she had to keep her personal opinions about Maria and her writing to herself, even if she absolutely HATES what Maria has done to her late father’s show.

I’m now in Week 4 or 5 of not watching Y&R. I refuse to watch the drivel that Maria is putting out each week. It’s enough to make me nauseous and ask for a barf bag!

kay killgore
kay killgore

Michael I am with you 110% but the Bell family has always been about nepotism as a lot of familes are and that is fine but MAB to my knowledge had no previous writing experience. This could be a good plot if I was writing I would have the character Ricky whack Daisy and pen it on Phyllis. It would be a kick to have some Karma finally come back to her, it is amusing how they have whitewashed her character to complete boredom.

jackie
jackie

michael i need { ya to stay on young ^ restless ‘
huge fan of you _ on the show + danny w / christine + late 8o _
great seen you + jackie } no#1 fan

tash36
tash36

Hi Michael. How r u? Yes, I am asking same question and I know u r tired me asking. Bit do u have any news about Jack Wagner returning to GH and reuniting with Kristina Wagner(Felica) and Maxi? I wish they bring him back. I hope u have good news about that or any info y
ou can,give us fans.
Again Michael I thank,you for answering my question. I appreciate it so much.

Tash10204@aol.com

jackie
jackie

how are ya michael _? miss seen ya on the young & restless _ so much +
great to see ya on the show with laurnelle _ { danny & christine __
* how is your music coming along & movies _ coming out soon _
*
i appreicted you staying with the show +
*
i am hard of hearing + and talk + & single +
*

jackie
jackie

wish you was coming to pgh pa – so i can met you in person = handsome -& tall –
as i remember danny and chrisitne married – and have children _ and become granparents – when they do marries + please – michael + as danny +
love ya * you need ya & christine toqther ] please =please & stay on the show

Stacy
Stacy

They really need some good story lines. Who ever was writing the story lines in the mid to late nineties did an awesome job. After that, I basically stopped watching . They have to realize that y and r is shown in many countries including the one I’m from. They have to please the world, not just America.

Alyssa
Alyssa

I hope someday you can be back on The Young and The Restless for good. I am a huge Danny Romalotti fan. And a huge Cricket Blair fan also. You two are my fav couple on Y&R. I hope they can get back together. Well thanks for reading! Bye

~Alyssa~

Susan
Susan

After reading this interview almost a year after, I have to say almost if not everything has changed. Almost all the people mentioned in the interview are gone. Christine is now back with Paul. The question I would love to ask Lauralee now is: Is Paul the great love of her life because she gave up her job in DC in order to make the sacrifice of moving back to GC with the man she loves. I remember her stating to you that logistically speaking, she cant give up her job for Danny.

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Alum Kevin Spirtas Chats On His Heart-Tugging Series ‘After Forever’ & Love and Life In Your 50s

Filling the void in the digital drama series arena, the eight episodes first season of After Forever (available on Amazon), tackles the journey of a two middle-aged gay men in their 50’s in a deep romantic relationship, and looks at it through its various stages of love, loss, and moving on with one’s life when suddenly your world is turned upside down, when one of them has died.

While the LGBT community has seen other love-centric and dramatic web series, none have really taken a deep dive into the difficulties of starting anew in your 50’s or even older.  Leave it to former Days of our Lives alum and Broadway producer, Kevin Spirtas (Ex-Craig Wesley), along with another DAYS alum, writer, Michael Slade, and the two put their shared experiences, and dramatic ideas into this emotional series, that is not limited to anyone who is gay, but touches on the universal themes that anyone may have, or will experience, at one time in their lives.

Spirtas, brought along with him none some notables for his passion project.  First, none other than former Prospect Park One Life to Live EP, Jennifer Pepperman, to bring his vision to life, and some amazing co-stars: Mitchell Anderson (Ex-Party Of Five), MIchael Urie (Ugly Betty), Cady Huffman (Ex-OLTL), Anita Gillette, Colleen Zenk (Ex-Barbara, ATWT) to  name just a few.

While the series bowed a little over a month ago, if you haven’t taken a look, check out our interview with Spirtas for some juicy insight into the making of and the construct of, After Forever.  Following that, check out the teaser for the series, and the video for the theme song, “My Forever” by Lio Nicol which becomes available tomorrow June 4th on Amazon and iTunes.

What was the genesis of the idea for the series?

Photo Credit/JPI Studios

KEVIN:  Patrika Darbo, came to New York close to 7 years ago. She had called me ahead of time, and said, “I was asked to present at the ISA Awards, and you’re coming with me.”  She was getting very involved in the world of the web series. I looked at this amazing presentation of content that was being shown at the ISA’s.  I was blown away. It was better than half the stuff on TV, theater, or film. At that point, I made a mad rush for a gentleman by the name of Sebastian La Cause.  Sebastian had won several awards that night and his material was so well presented, and beautifully shot, and his acting was very unique.

Sebastian La Cause was the star of the web series Hustling, right?

KEVIN:  Yes, it was Hustling, the first season.  I went up to him and I said, “I’m Kevin Spirtas. I’m an actor, I did a soap …”  He goes, “Kevin, I know who you are.” I was starstruck, and impressed, and inspired, because he is exactly the kind of person I want to work with.  He is talented, and creative and I want to work with those kind of people. I said to him, “If you do a second season, I’d love to be considered for anything you might be doing.”  Wouldn’t you know? He wrote me in. I fell in love with the story. I was very clear to me, that you have to start creating for yourself, because creating your own content in this industry now is king.  The third season of Hustling then crossed me over to appearing in Winterthorne.  That was also the first year that NATAS opened up the judging to the digital world.  I got nominated for an Emmy. It inspired me to start thinking about, ‘What do I know?  What do I have in my life that I feel is worth sharing and putting out there to help heal, or inspire?’  I had been producing in New York City for 3 years at this point.

Photo Credit/JPI Studios

It becomes every performer’s concern, as they get older, that they can still be considered for the roles they would like to play.  Sometimes, actors can grow into the types of roles, and sometimes they’ve expired past those types of roles. Was creating After Forever also a way to re-enter being part of the conversation?

KEVIN:  Well, I was hoping to write something for myself … because I just didn’t see the roles coming toward me anymore.  My name wasn’t on them as I imagined them or had seen them in the past. I was worried about that. I thought, “If I have a chance to keep working, I’ve got to keep current.”

And somehow, you and Michael Slade ran into each other, and thus, a collaboration began that would eventually turn into After Forever?

Courtesy/AfterForever

KEVIN:  Then, I ran into Michael Slade at a gym… I had never met him before, he was a writer on Days as I was leaving the show.  And I remember saying to myself, “wouldn’t it be great to work with somebody, and see what kind of story we could come up with?”  Unbeknownst to me, Michael, at that particular time in his life, was working on the very same type of story and idea about what it’s like to be who he is, at his age, where he’s at, and what he knows.  I pitched him this idea: “I think there’s some really funny ideas I could express to the world about my experience as a single gay man at this point.” He said, “Call me.” In short, he was living life as a single gay man, and I was living life as a single gay man, and that’s how After Forever was born.  Michael had the experience of losing his long-time partner of 25 years.  There’s a part in the story where Brian and Jason are going along and they have everything in their life that they could possibly want, and then they don’t, because Jason is diagnosed with cancer and it takes him away.

Do we see Jason die in this?

KEVIN:  You just might! … It’s how we incorporated him in the story…

Courtesy/AfterForever

After Forever bounces back and forth in time, obviously, that was part of the unique structure of the storytelling?

KEVIN:  It does do that.  It tells the story through a lot of present, and a lot of flashbacks.  There is also the present with Brian, and his memory of Jason. As Brian is going through the next chapter of his life as a single man, he has to look at his life and learn how to continue to love even though the person’s not there.  When someone dies, the love doesn’t die, the relationship doesn’t die, it keeps growing on a certain level. So, if he turns around, and he sees him, is it real? Is it him working it out in his own mind? It’s a tool to tell more story …

Tell me about casting Mitchell Anderson?  He had retired and moved to Atlanta, and he ends up playing the love of Brian’s life.

Courtesy/AfterForever

KEVIN:  When Michael and I were writing, we threw out, “Who do you think would play this part?”  One day, I just dropped the name “Mitchell Anderson” I said, “I just see him as Jason.” Michael said to me, “Kevin, he’s retired.”  I just knew Mitchell and I had great history in the business. We started off as actors together in class. He went one direction, I went another, then he left the business, but I just felt there was something about his persona – not to mention his talent – his unique humor, his sensibility, and style, so I said, “I think we should ask him.”  We did. Mitchell said, “Okay, Kevin. Let me read the script.” He called back immediately after receiving it, and said, “I would love to do this!” I have not stopped thanking him every day. He’s so good in it.

The main character of Brian goes on this journey: he meets other guys, some appear younger than others! (Laughs)

KEVIN:  It’s a year after Jason is gone, Brian is trying to settle into his new life, but he’s guilty that his partner has died.  He has sadness, grief, and so much love for Jason that he’s having trouble moving forward, and everyone is trying to push him forward.  Brian is not necessarily ready, but sometimes his body is ready, while emotionally, he’s not. It’s how we deal with all that navigation of seeing good-looking guys.  He meets a guy in the middle of the series, and it starts to open up the doors. That’s the beauty of what happens when he starts to let himself open up to the possibilities.  There are some great rollercoaster moments that you’ll see.

Would you do another season of After Forever?

KEVIN:  Oh, my God!  Michael and I have already started to script out seasons 2 and 3.

Courtesy/AfterForever

Middle-aged gay men do have it rough in the relationship department, if they’re not already partnered up by this point in their life.  Younger guys think they’re over the hill, older guys aren’t necessarily interested either, and unfortunately, the LGBTQ community is unforgiving to community if you’re not young and pretty, and not in your 20s or 30s. There aren’t a lot of LGBT-oriented shows out there like this.  On that level, I think the concept of the show is an important story to tell.

KEVIN:  We were absolutely committed to writing not just another gay story.  We’ve seen those. I think the beauty of After Forever is that it’s not just a gay story- even though it’s told through two gay men… but, it’s a story about love … it’s a story about loss.  Everyone is going to have to deal with this in their life.

Courtesy/AfterForever

Dealing with loss is part of the circle of life, whether it’s a parent, a child, a lover, a friend, or your longtime partner. Many in the LGBT community succumbed to AIDS in the ‘80s and ‘90s, which was a pivotal moment in the gay movement.

KEVIN:  We lost half of our community.  We lost half of our brothers. To jump back to that history with Mitchell, he and I had so many mutual friends who aren’t here anymore.  We would look at the scene that was at hand, take a breath, look at each other, and they’d say “action” and we’d step into these people. Yes, it’s gay themed, because it’s told by two leading male characters who are gay.  But, I have heard more people in the last two months since this has come out, who have not only stopped and said, “Thank you for writing such a wonderful story about love and loss, and new beginnings, but also, what it’s like to have to confront that loss.” They also went on to say, “For so many years, gay people have had to watch the heterosexual world. People are trying to fit themselves into our world now, into our story, and how they would feel navigating it.”

Michael Urie is in it too? And you have some pretty accomplished people in your cast.  

Courtesy/AfterForever

KEVIN:  Yes, there’s Michael Urie, Cady Huffman who sings in one of the episodes.  Tere is a scene in episode 3 that it still floors me, I can’t watch it without losing it.  Then, there’s Anita Gillette, Lenny Wolpe, David Dean Bottrell. Everyone is perfect, and everyone was able to show up, and everyone delivered a million percent.

What’s the response you’ve been getting from people who have watched After Forever?  You mentioned it’s been very positive.  

KEVIN:  Everyone has been touched.  The majority who have seen this, are just moved to tears and full of excitement.

I saw that Jennifer Pepperman, ex-executive producer of One Life to Live, directed your series.  What was it like working with Jen?

Courtesy/AfterForever

KEVIN:  We had a lot of people who we could have pulled from.  Jennifer came up in conversation, because she had sent Michael an invitation to go see her new short film that she had done with Austin Peck (Ex-Austin, Days) and his wife, Teri Conn (Ex-Katie, ATWT).  I said, “Maybe if I go see the show and I like it, I can introduced myself to Jennifer.”  I called him right after and I said, “If we don’t get her, we’re crazy!” She’s so good. What she did is perfection.  We shot the whole thing like a movie. It was shot in 12 days. She knew everything she wanted to do and it shows in the edit.  And, this extraordinarily, talented girl named Colleen Kwok, who was the director of photography. She’s the real thing. She got it.  She got the style we were going for immediately.

So, we want to tell people to binge watch the series on Amazon.

KEVIN:  Binge it, or make it last for 15 days…

How many hankies will I need for this? 10? 5?

Courtesy/AfterForever

KEVIN:  I say Kleenex is not included … Anybody who has ever loved, anybody who has ever lost, must see this show, because it unifies all of us, it shows us that we are the same.  It shows us that we still have love in our lives, regardless of if that person is gone, the relationship never ends, it never dies. That’s what people are getting from this.  That’s what people are taking away from it. You and I were raised with the symbols of a straight world and how we had to fit into that certain way of life. That’s changed now.  We have Will & Grace … we have RuPaul … all these great things that are illustrating our diversity.  Now, people are going, “it’s just a story being told.”

What was Mitchell’s reaction when he saw the final product?

KEVIN:  We saw it together…We just sat there and cried.  It’s hard. Especially, the first two episodes and the last two episodes.  We served it up, Michael, we served it up!

Courtesy/AfterForever

I think you spoke to a greater issue, as you move through this career, you have to remain relevant as things change.  So, you’ve dipped yourself into this pool and now you can do more.

KEVIN:  I hope so.  You and I talked about this along time ago, when I first started on Days Of Our Lives, it was still a different world.

It was so different back then.  Actors couldn’t be out. There was still that stigma that if the audience at home knew they were gay, they wouldn’t buy into what they were portraying.

KEVIN:  That’s where I kind of worked it out, because I didn’t pretend not to be me, I just wasn’t very open about everything in my life.  Not that I still am. There’s certain things that I don’t talk about, because it’s not relevant, or it’s no one’s business.

So, do you get the obligatory question, “What’s a guy like you doing being single”? (Laughs)

KEVIN:  Michael said to me one day, “How come a guy like you is single?”  I made a joke out of it and said, “Have you seen me eat? Come on!”

So, intrigued to check out After Forever? What do you think about its central theme looking at what happens when one loses their partner at middle-age and more?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

Continue Reading

General Hospital

GH’s Laura Wright and Wes Ramsey Talk Their Love Connection & The Demands Of Daytime

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

After presenting for the first time together, at the 45th Annual Daytime Emmys since they’ve been a couple, Laura Wright (Carly) and Wes Ramsey (Peter aka Henrik) of General Hospital have certainly been in the throes of a romantic, fun, and cherished relationship. The two former stars of Guiding Light reconnected last year at Emmy time. Now, sharing their over one year anniversary, Michael Fairman TV caught up with Laura and Wes to get some insight into what makes their relationship work amidst the hustle and bustle, and pace of both being on a network television daytime drama series, and with the pressures of Hollywood where often relationships between two actors seem to start hot and heavy but then fizzle out.

If you caught this week’s GH, you witnessed that the town of Port Charles has found out that Peter is the notorious Cesar Faison’s son, and the ramifications that will be felt for weeks and months and potentially years to come. Meanwhile, Carly is in all sorts of trouble, thanks to naughty Nelle (Chloe Lanier). Nelle is making Carly look awfully unstable and what happens next could change Carly’s life forever.

So, what do these two lovebirds have to say about their relationship and their passion for working on the soaps? Check out what they had to share below. 

Wes, you had met Laura originally years ago on Guiding Light.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Wes: Yes, 15 years ago in New York.

And what did you think of her then?

Wes: Well, I was smitten, but I had to keep it to myself.

You had to keep it under wraps, huh?

Wes: Yep!

Laura: I was married then.

Wes: She was pregnant with her second child.

Laura: And he’s a good Kentucky boy.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Wes: Uh-huh! But we would run lines in the green room and I would try very hard to make sure she didn’t catch me staring at her… too often. But we laughed, and had great conversation.

Laura: I would always say, “Wes, will you run lines with me?,” because I would want to run my lines.

Wes: We never had story together, but she always knew I was game to hang out with her for a moment.

It’s good when you’re in a relationship with someone and you can laugh with them. You seem to be able to do that a lot!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Laura: Oh, gosh. I think that’s all we do.

Wes: Yes, yes, yes, yes…

Laura: Like, we belly laugh. It gets to the point where people would think we were ridiculous. We’ll say things and just think it’s the funniest thing ever and people would be like, “You guys have a problem …” and we’re like, “Yeah.” (Laughs)

Laura, and then he comes back into your life years later…

Wes: That’s right, it was Emmy weekend 2017.

Laura: I totally was not expecting it at all. Even when I gave him my number I walked away going “huh…”

You mean you thought he wouldn’t call?

Laura: No, I didn’t feel that… because he hit on me hard. He’ll tell you that.

Wes: I still am hitting on her.

Laura: I remember I walked away quick after he got my number. I was like, “Oh, my God … I gotta go.”

Courtesy/Instagram

Wes: There was an assertiveness on my part that was for sure 15 years in the making. I did not expect to run into her. I also did not expect for her to tell me that she was recently single. In that split second, it was one of those, “stop the presses!” moments. Like, you need to give me your number, I’m taking you to dinner.

Laura: I go, “Oh, be quiet! Are you like, 32, because I can’t do that.” (Laughs)

Wes: And I said, “Far from it.”

Laura: He’s like, “I’m getting ready to be 40.” And I’m like, “I can do that!”

Then, on top of all of this, Wes, you land a primo role on General Hospital. That of Henrik aka Peter, Cesar Faison’s son.

Photo Credit: Courtesy/ABC

Wes: Yes, a dream come true.

Laura: I’m going to jump in and say it’s a role that he worked all on his own for. He had to screen test against 8 plus guys, 3 different auditions, 2 different days.

Wes: That’s true.

Laura: I can’t say strong enough that the best actor got the role. Meaning, Wesley is so talented and has the ability to give this character the depth, and emotion, and layers that it needs to tell the story that needs to be told. I just think he’s incredible.

So, did you know from the get-go who you were going to be playing?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Wes: I did not.

Laura: I did! (Laughs)

Wes: I’m thrilled that the writers have been giving me such incredible material to dive into.   Each month that goes by, it becomes more and more complex, and more and more layered and intense. I love the depth… I love the conflicts… I love the humanity… I love the desperation… I love the psychology behind it. It’s a very interesting story and a great journey to tell.

Laura: I was getting ready to say, where you mentally have to go to be the son of Faison and Anna Devane (Finola Hughes)! To blend that together is amazing. It’s incredible to watch.

You used to run lines together on Guiding Light. Do you run lines together now on GH? It’s like a full circle moment.

Laura: We do, and we carpool.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Wes: Something we were trying to manifest together. We thought it would be a lot of fun to work together one day.

Laura: The last week we worked, we didn’t. He worked all afternoon. I worked all morning. I was like, “Are they doing this on purpose?” I was so mad! I was like, “Why are you in the afternoon everyday?” (Laughs)

Wes: She lost her chauffeur. (Laughs)

Laura: I did! He always drives us to work. I also love when we both have afternoon calls, because we love having mornings together. So, I didn’t get my morning, nor did I have my chauffeur!

So, two actors can have a good relationship? You see so many Hollywood relationships with actors and they go bust. But that’s not always the case …

Wes: Oh, my God, yes.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Laura: I’m going to say this; I think I can see it being more difficult for daytime actors, because the work we do is so intense. I know the weeks he’s getting ready to go into, and I’m getting ready to go into. Where we go emotionally and psychologically to tell these stories, on the level that we tell them, as quick as we tell them, you kind of have to become really in a headspace. The fact that we can …

Wes: … the long hours …

Laura: Yes, and exhaustion! You really have to go, “Wow! It’s not about me right now. It’s about us individually as actors.” Thank God, we know the workload. I know what he’s getting ready to go through.

Wes: I have always had so much respect for Laura’s work. On Guiding Light, I’ve always been in awe of what she’s capable of doing. So, the level of respect is obviously there. But also, the understanding whatever it is that you need from a personal assistant in one moment… or a life partner in another moment … or a best friend in moment … or whatever it is in order to get through the day-to-day and the week-to-week, so we can do what we love to do. We know we’re very lucky to have the opportunity to do what we love.

Courtesy/welcometolaurasworld Instagram

Laura was such a great co-host on my Soap Nation Live! Daytime Emmy Nomination Specials, in particular when she talks about acting. It’s so rewarding to hear the other actors who are guests on the show listening to what Laura has to say about her craft and respecting the hell out of her.

Wes: Without a doubt. You can’t watch her work and not be in awe. It speaks for itself.

Laura: I just love the journey of going to the places that we go; to bleed for it.

Wes: Leave it all out on the floor.

Laura: I know that process. So, when I see another actor that’s bleeding, I just bow to them, because I know what it takes to go there. I know the work that Wesley does. When I see that he’s spent at the end of the day, I’m like, “Babe, I so get it.” So, I can see where it could be really difficult for people that haven’t been there, because it’s a lot of work and you’re spent. It’s hard! For us, that works.

What do you think of Laura and Wes’ love connection? What do you think of the latest developments for GH’s Carly and Henrik? Comment below.

Continue Reading

Interviews

EXCLUSIVE: 45th Annual Daytime Emmys Winners & Backstage Video Interviews!

Photo : MF Soaps Inc

The 45th Annual Daytime Emmys are in the record books.  And as previously reported, it was a big night for NBC’s Days of our Lives taking Outstanding Drama Series, Writing and Directing in a Drama Series Awards, plus top acting nods to James Reynolds (Abe) and Greg Vaughan (Eric).

Behind the scenes while the ceremony continued on-stage, and as the night’s big winners and several presenters were whisked away backstage following their victory, they took to the Winner’s Walk and chatted with Michael Fairman who got their reactions to winning the gold, or presenting important moments of the night during the live-stream broadcast.

From DAYS Deidre Hall (Marlena), Dr. Oz, The Ladies of The Talk, and GH’Chris Van Etten to DAYS head scribe Ron Carlivati, to Y&R’s actress winners: Eileen Davidson (Ashley) and Camryn Grimes (Mariah), and GH’s Chloe Lanier (Nelle, Vernee Watson (Stella) and more now you can watch the complete backstage series of conversations on The Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube.  Make sure to “subscribe” for these and more celebrity interviews.

After the jump, check out some of the winners and backstage interviews with Michael.  You can also go directly to the video you are looking to view, by clicking on the blue hyperlink on the interviewees name. (more…)

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Video du Jour

This week, Nick lost temporary custody of Christian leading to a defiant and emotional turn by Joshua Morrow (Nick) as he has to say farewell to the little boy he has come to love as his own son, and give him to his father, Victor, who wanted and was granted custody of the child. Watch the hankie-inducing moment! Leave A Comment

The Michael Channel

Recent Comments

  • Satan: “using newbies to prop other newbies. perfect of everything that has been wrong with this show since February 2012.
  • Bradley: “I believe Chase’s version. Josh Swickard has made me totally forget about Dante. Swickard has star…
  • Iakovos: “B&B is designed for an international audience with its common denominator story lines of affair after affair after affair. And…
  • rebecca1: “Yes to the persistent "thumbs down" person (s). Know who you are. I'm sure we DO want intense battles, right?…
  • Momo: “I agree. Quinn and Eric are AWOL. Thorne is on a bit more now, but why is he…
Advertisement

Power Performance

Joshua Morrow as Nick

The Young and the Restless

Airdate: 6-14-2018

Advertisement

Popular